Left Wing Closeout

Build Crew:



It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to focus on the RV-8. The Velocity has taken me on a whirlwind of an adventure and it took me over 3 months to get back to it. Sam and I have put in a few sessions to get the left bottom skin riveted on. If you read my post on the right bottom skin you’ll get most of the tips and tricks we learned while closing out the outboard bottom skins, but we did encounter a few new challenges I hadn’t seen before.

“Oil Canning” is a phenomenon when a plane skin end up a bit looser than one would desire resulting in some deformation of it. If this exists on a already built plane where it did not before, it may be a result of a change in the structure, and further inspection should be done (Possible damage or significant impact). Sam and I encounter this on the left bottom skin and so I got a bit nervous. We decided the best course of action was to hold of on additional riveting and checking in with Van’s about what to do.

After talking with Van’s, my concerns were assuaged. It turns out this is a fairly common and doesn’t have an effect on aircraft performance or integrity. That being said, Tom of Velocity suggested if I wanted to reduce the canning behavior I could make some stiffeners. 

Below are photos of the sessions:

Sam took on that challenge and created a nice custom piece. After match drilling, dimpling the skin, and countersinking the stiffener it was ready to install. It did a great job and dramatically reduced the issue! If we ever want to do even more we could add one more stiffener after of the current one. It turns out in the RV-10 and -14, they now put stiffeners the length of the skin to minimize this.

With both wings closed up, Jack and I put the left wing back into the cradle and put the fuselage back on the table. It’s finally time to get back to the fuselage… woo hoo!. Until then…..Happy Building!!

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